The Weekly Update Newsletter

Presidential “Spoiler” Candidates Might Soon Be a Thing of the Past

Posted by on June 21, 2019

Featured Blog Post: The Case for National Service

Before we get into “spoilers,” I wanted to let you know about two things. First, we want to learn more about you. That’s why we’re going to start asking you a question (or two) in each Weekly Update. This week we want to know what Civic Engagement means to you.

Second, our friends at Convergence are about to come out with their new report on helping former prisoners reassimilate into society -- called the Reentry Ready Project. Convergence brought together key stakeholders (including formerly incarcerated individuals) to brainstorm innovative strategies that will transform the current system. Those solutions will be presented on Wednesday, June 26th in Washington, D.C. -- with a keynote speech by Senator Tim Kaine -- and you can register for the event now (it’s free)!

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Imagine...Though It Might Not Be Easy If You Try (h/t John Lennon)

Posted by on June 12, 2019

Featured Blog Post: Geo-Locating Protests And Tech's Role In Advancing Movements, Part II

Imagine a functional Congress that passes legislation on issues where there’s broad agreement and exercises oversight of the executive branch regardless of the President’s party. Not easy, right? (If it was easy, you have a much more flexible imagination than me).

As I type this, the latest poll found that just 14% of Americans approved of the way Congress is handling its job (Source: Economist/YouGov). And there’s good reason for that -- the budget is out of control; fundraising prowess (rather than legislative competence) is the key to gaining power; and most legislation is drafted by a small group of legislative leaders, White House officials, and lobbyists.

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The Fulcrum Has Launched!

Posted by on June 07, 2019

Featured Blog Post: How to Avoid an ALL CAPS Screaming Match: 5 Tips for Productive Debate


Screen_Shot_2019-06-06_at_12.21.34_PM.pngThe Fulcrum, which launched on June 6, is a project of Issue One and supported by the Hewlett Foundation and the Bridge Alliance Education Fund.

The Fulcrum is staffed by award-winning journalists who report on the efforts to make our democratic republic less tribal, our elections more competitive, our politicians less beholden to moneyed interests, and our officials more attentive to real evidence in policy-making so Congress may become more effective, ethical, and civil.

The Fulcrum tracks efforts to help government be more responsive to the Americans who want these changes. The Fulcrum team decodes behaviors threatening (or protecting) the principles of the Constitution. Most importantly, they explain how you can get involved and why our democracy depends on it.

Bridge Alliance members have accumulated many noteworthy achievements in the effort to revitalize our social and political processes, but too few of your fellow Americans know there is a cohesive, organized movement in-progress (your movement!). This must change; we must demonstrate that there is an alternative for those who’ve grown weary of the party-first, second, and last paradigm.

“American democracy has become fundamentally challenged since I started covering Washington three decaes ago,” says Editor-in Chief David Hawkings.  “A career spent decoding policy and politics for the voters has made me most passionate about the need for more clear-eyed, unbiased reporting that boosts understanding of the dysfunction, explains why it’s threatening our collective future and illuminates efforts to help our government serve everyone.”

The Fulcrum news team is already getting attention for their work, including their digital newsletter (which you can sign up for at Please sign up (if you haven’t already) and invite your friends and family to sign up as well.


Bridge Alliance Education Fund

Think we missed a big news story involving a Bridge Alliance member? Email us at [email protected] and we'll make sure to get the story out on social media.


Bridge Alliance Members in the News:

Independent Voter Project; Open Primaries - IVN News - 6 Legislative Efforts to Protect YOUR Right to Vote

POGO - The Hill - Facial recognition surveillance in Congress's crosshairs

Better Angels - Catalyst - The Revolution You've Never Heard Of

Good Things Come in least for purposes of this update

Posted by on May 31, 2019

Featured Blog Post: It Takes a Community - How City Leaders Demonstrate the Power of Citizen-Government Collaboration

We are proud to announce that -- once again -- the Bridge Alliance has welcomed three new members into the BA family. These members won’t come as a surprise to anybody who follows us on Twitter...which should be all of you! You can “Follow” us here. (do it now!) Without further ado, here are your newest Bridge Alliance organizations:

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Campaign and Election Groups Just. Keep. Winning. (Healthy Self Governance Update)

Posted by on May 24, 2019

Featured Blog Post: Geo-Locating Protest: The Changing Role Of Tech In Social Movements Part I

There’s something very meta about the work of campaign and election groups. When they achieve victory, it necessarily impacts how others achieve victory. For instance, a victory by Open Primaries has the direct effect of making victory more likely for candidates who can appeal to independents.

If that seems a kind of confusing and odd way of thinking about this part of the Democracy Field …. well, welcome to my brain. With that said, let’s get out of my head and get to the good stuff -- the slew of wins that these groups have achieved over the last few months:

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America Indivisible Releases In-Depth Report on Religion and Civic Engagement

Posted by on May 16, 2019

Featured Blog Post: The Psychology of Polarization And How We Can Overcome Our Prejudices

Earlier this month, America Indivisible -- one of the newest members of the Bridge Alliance -- released a collaborative study called “American Muslim Poll 2019.” To be honest, though, the title short-changes the report, which examines political attitudes, civic engagement, and Islamophobia among American Muslims, Jews, Christians (broken down by denomination), and Non-Affiliates.

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Ted gives a TED (Talk) and Better Angels discuss Depolarization, MLK, Jr. and more

Posted by on May 10, 2019

Featured Blog Post: An Antidote to Divisiveness and Gridlock: COFFEE PARTY USA and Local Communities

TED Talks are a fascinating cultural phenomenon. The nonprofit (TED) was founded in 1984 as a conference under the slogan “ideas worth spreading,” and has been held annually since 1990. It wasn’t until 2006, though, that TED Talks were free to view online -- i.e. accessible by the general public. By June 2011, TED Talks earned over 500 million views, and that figure doubled by November 2012. TED Talks are now a ubiquitous part of modern culture and serve as a signal that the individual giving the 18-minute talk has “arrived.”

That’s why we were so excited when Joan Blades of Living Room Conversations and John Gable of AllSides gave a joint TED Talk in 2017. And it’s why we are proud to support Citizen University and celebrate Eric Liu’s third(!?) TED Talk titled “How to revive your belief in democracy.” You can check out that video as well as Eric’s new book titled “Become America: Civic Sermons on Love, Responsibility, and Democracy.”

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Good Governance Today, Better Governance Tomorrow...Take a Moment for Positivity (Outline Update)

Posted by on May 03, 2019

Featured Blog Post: Convene, Convey, Converge: Ten Years of Bringing Unlikely Allies Together

Good Governance and Policymaking Update

I was sorely tempted to start this Weekly Update off with a joke (in fact, I had one picked out), but then I realized I was falling into a trap. Specifically, I was conflating “good governance and policymaking” with the dysfunction currently plaguing Congress. The truth, though, is that there are a lot of good things happening around the nation, as well as in Washington, D.C.

So take a deep breath and take a gander at some recent updates that show things aren’t quite as bad as they sometimes seem. And even where things are bad, there are a lot of smart people trying to think of good solutions:

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So THAT’S What You’re Interested In! (Survey Results)

Posted by on April 26, 2019

Featured Blog Post: BallotReady - Election spotlight: Breaking down the numbers on every seat up for election this year

Last week we asked you to answer a short survey telling us what issue areas of the democracy revitalization movement you find most interesting, and many of you responded! Thank you! This week, we would like to share the results (please note that respondents could vote for more than one category):

  • In first place, a whopping 56% of respondents said they are interested in Bridging Ideological Divides -- a clear sign that you, our readers, believe that hyper-partisanship is harming our nation

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What Are YOU Interested In? (Quick Survey)

Posted by on April 19, 2019

Featured Blog Post: POGO - Does the Assange Indictment Endanger Press Freedom?

From Day 1, the Bridge Alliance has positioned itself as a coalition for organizations trying to fix our political system from all angles. The result is that its members are involved in all parts of the democracy revitalization movement -- from helping people talk to overhauling our electoral systems.

We know, though, that it’s hard to be passionate about everything. That’s why we want to know what you’re interested in. Fill out our two question survey based on our member categories and watch for the results in an upcoming Weekly Update.

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